The relentless growth of IP networking has augmented year on year with new technology and applications coming to the fore, to the extent that we can safely say that unified communications is now firmly established in the business community.
A recent CMA (Communications Management Association) survey found that the challenges facing organisations and their ICT functions is being driven by business reorganisation and as in previous years, the single biggest challenge is integrating communications and networks across the business while meeting and managing end user expectations.
The key here is directory information - for if IP communication platforms are to succeed then end users require easy access to accurate centrally stored corporate directory information. If this is not achieved, then the performance of end users is undermined. One could argue that end users are really all the key stakeholders in the business - customers, employees and management - all those that are directly impacted by the infrastructure, processes and efficiencies that exist in the business, of which corporate directory is at the core. Inaccurate and inaccessible information directly affects all the stakeholders’ performance and can lead to dissatisfied customers, employee productivity loss or reduced revenues.
But here lies the opportunity for resellers. By offering a solution that integrates disparate directories and databases, a solid foundation of accurate information is presented enabling businesses to update records centrally and presents channel partners with a compelling proposition to differentiate themselves in competitive IPT bids.
Another point of interest in the CMA survey was the importance of general mobility to organisations’ communications and networks strategies, the findings of which present a potential cost concern to organisations and an opportunity for partners.
For example, 53% said ‘people in my company use their mobile as their main contact point rather than their fixed line phone.’ To secure business efficiencies, businesses need to improve the management and control of their voice communications. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. Resellers should look at solutions to help companies better manage and control their voice networks by quickly identify areas within the business where costs can be reduced, productivity increased and resources optimised.
Information is knowledge and knowledge leads to wisdom and customers just love wise resellers.
Richard Pitt is UK sales director at Arc Solutions
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